Experience Lithuania – where the centre of Europe is
This small Eastern European country (over 3 million inhabitants) is one of the three so called Baltic States, which loosened from Soviet Union after its fall in 1991. Today, the proud member of European Union, Lithuania with hospitality welcomes foreign visitors, gladly sharing with them its treasures – relicts of history, rich culture, great food and unspoiled nature.
The charming capital, Vilnius; music festival in Kaunas, the medieval castle on water in Trakai, and sandy beaches outside Klaipeda are the best known destinations. Lithuania magnetizes many by its historical mixture of cultures - and religions, along with Lithuanian and Polish being Catholic; there are Orthodox Russians, Protestants and under long time there were Jews also, the Jewish Quarter in Vilnius, with its narrow and curved streets, is one of the “musts” while visiting this city. And also in Vilnius there is a church - the church of Saint Ann - that seemed so beautiful to Napoleon that he wanted to bring it with him to France.
Leisure, entertainment and nightlife
Lithuanians are very hospitable and warm people, the food and drinks are classy – anyone should try both international and traditional cuisine, and domestic beer. There are plenty of pubs and nightclubs for every taste. Shopping - in the centre or in big, modern malls (like Akropolis) is both easy and profitable, since prices are still lower than in many other European countries. Do not forget to bring some amber with you as a souvenir.
Lithuania offers a wide range of accommodations: from luxury hotels to bed & breakfast and guesthouses. Many hotels have large conference centers, up up to 600 participants; in almost every smaller hotel there is a meeting room for up to 40-60 persons.
Getting here and getting around
Most airplanes arrive to Vilnius; there are train connections with Warsaw, Poland and several Russian cities. Ferries from Sweden, Germany and Poland reach Klaipeda. The reconstruction of many roads makes a car travel quite pleasant. Bus traffic is frequent between many big and small towns; taxi travel is cheap comparing to the rest of EU. For those who seek other means of transport, cycling is recommended: Lithuania has two EuroVelo routs crossing the country.
Time zone: UTC (GMT) +2. Daytime saving time (DST) is observed.
Currency: Lithuanian litas (LTL).
Climate & weather
The climate of Lithuania is transitional, between maritime and continental. The weather can often be rainy, especially by the coast. In winter, the temperature drops often below 0°C, but realy cold days are not so often. Summers can be hot, though rainy.
During the 1300s, Lithuania became the largest country in Europe: parts of present-day Belarus, Ukraine, Poland and Russia were territories of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, its territory stretching from the Baltic to the Black sea. In 1569 Poland and Lithuania formed a new state, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth lasted more than two hundred years, until neighboring countries systematically dismantled in the end of 18th century. Lithuanian territory became part of the Russian Empire.
Lithuania became a sovereign state after the WWI. In 1940, first Soviet Union, then Nazi Germany occupied the country. At the end of the WWII, the Soviets entered Lithuania again, and incorporated it as a Soviet republic. 45 years later, Lithuania became the first such republic to declare its independence.